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Neuron. 2002 Aug 29;35(5):827-41.

Making connections in the fly visual system.

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Department of Biological Chemistry, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


Understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate formation of precise patterns of neuronal connections within the central nervous system remains a challenging problem in neurobiology. Genetic studies in worms and flies and molecular studies in vertebrate systems have led to an increasingly sophisticated understanding of how growth cones navigate toward their targets and form topographic maps. Considerably less is known about how growth cones recognize their cellular targets and form synapses with them. Here, we review connection formation in the fly visual system, the methodological approaches used to study it, and recent progress in uncovering the molecular basis of connection specificity.

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